DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew gave members of the local business community an idea of what to expect from this term of council, at a Scugog Chamber luncheon, on Friday, February 1st.
“Since the election, your new council has been hard at work,” Mayor Drew said.
The luncheon was held at the Latcham Centre in Port Perry. This was Mayor Drew’s first chamber luncheon as Mayor of the Township.
In January, Scugog council held Strategic Planning Sessions at the Nestleton Waters Inn.
“That’s probably one of the most important things your council can do at the beginning of the term, because it sets the direction that we hope to go to in the next four years,” Mayor Drew explained.
She also spoke about why they decided to hold it at the Nestleton site. “It was advertised as a public meeting and we did have it off site. It was a good experience. We had it off site for a number of reasons. First of all, it allows for some team building in a different atmosphere. It allows for open dialogue and it prevents any phone calls, disturbances and allowed us to focus on what we were doing.”
A report, on the results of those sessions, is expected to come to council sometime this month.
Mayor Drew said some of the priorities, the Township heard from residents in their ‘Speak Up Scugog’ survey were financial stability and sustainability, affordable and seniors housing, support for environmental initiatives and work on the Township’s roads.
Planning is also currently underway for the Township to host an “agricultural round table.”
“Agriculture and tourism are our main economic drivers in Scugog. We need to pay attention to the needs of our agricultural community,” Mayor Drew stated.
Once again, the future of Port Perry’s Old Mill was brought up.
“Now I think we’re ready, with all of the input that we’ve had, [so] we can move forward with a request for proposal. We need to make this a sustainable use. Right now, I think it is costing us around $22,000 or $23,000 a year just to keep it as it is right now. We need to save that money for better use and we need to have something in that old mill [to] enhance our tourism and business industry. We’ll get those proposals and we’ll make some sort of a decision, so we can stop throwing money into a building that isn’t giving us anything back,” Mayor Drew explained.
Mayor Drew said she is concerned about the Ontario provincial government currently reviewing the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund.
“They are looking at that, which scares us immensely,” she said.
Regarding negotiations for a new Municipal Service Agreement, Scugog’s new Mayor mentioned both the Township and Mississaugas of Scugog Island Chief Kelly LaRocca are “committed to reaching an agreement.”
“Things are going really well,” she said. “I’m really pleased with the progress that we’ve made so far.”
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